When we become entrepreneurs or consultants, something happens. Fear clouds our vision. Generosity is lost. In a world where we conform to a single definition of success, we create blinders for ourselves. We lean on others when we are in need, but not as generous when they are. And most of us don’t see it in ourselves. We think we are extremely giving. But in fact, we are not paying forward.
I get frustrated when money becomes the driver and gets in the way of mutual investment. It’s a partnership, after all. Yet some folks can’t see or appreciate what mutual success really means.
By mutual investment, I am not talking about handouts or giving in to your values. I’m talking about investing beyond currency, and being open to understanding what both parties need to be successful. I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I believe men have an unwritten bro-code – where most of them (in the board room or in the boys club) take one for the team in corporate america. Women – not so much. And between men and women, haven’t seen it, either. I have to wonder how many people feel they are taking one for the team within the Trump administration AND compromising their values. That’s not what I’m talking about here.
There are days when I wonder whether some of the people in my life can and will support one another beyond their fierce desire to be worth something in dollars. Can we support one another’s success and put our generous foot forward? Can we embrace our imperfections and stop finding excuses to justify our actions to look only at our own reflection?
Your mission, if you choose to accept it: In any partnership, pay forward. Don’t be afraid to give back one hundred fold even it goes beyond the dollars. If you focus on self, you won’t be as fulfilled. Support others as much if not more than they are supporting you. Be open, honest, trusting and put your generous foot forward to support them. Pay it forward.
Be kind. Be safe. Be appropriate. Now go!